Our Gift for Readers…Book Three Excerpt!

Credit: @nationalmall, Instagram

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Blair started walking at a fast clip around the Lincoln Memorial as if there was not a second to lose. She did not bother following the road but cut diagonally across it since there were so few cars.  “Why are there so many traffic circles in the middle of D.C.? They don’t make any sense,” Patrick grumbled from behind me. Traffic circles were the least of our problems, I thought to myself. If Patrick had seen or heard the Tenebraen, who seemed prepared and eager to hack us into little pieces, he would have been coiled up in a ball trying to hide behind the nearest bush. It was probably for the best he had no clue what was behind Friedlander Gate. The disturbing creatures were hard to shake from my mind, although I kept trying since dwelling on what was behind us left me unable to be as attentive to what was coming up next.

“Of course they make sense. This whole city was designed on L’Enfant’s grid pattern. Some streets run north south, some run east west, and then you have avenues that run diagonally across the grid. Where the avenues intersect with the streets is where we have traffic circles,” she said, gesturing at the directionals with her hand. “It’s perfectly logical. I mean, the city is cut into four quadrants, and they all radiate from the Capitol Building,” she explained and pointed at the Capitol Building through the trees. I noticed that Patrick did not follow her index finger to look at the white dome but only had eyes for Blair.

His undeniable admiration made Blair laugh nervously, and she sputtered, “Let’s just say I’m sort of a logistics geek. When my grandfather gave me this watch and showed me L’Enfant’s maps, he did not tell me much about them. I ended up reading everything I could find about L’Enfant on my own and that led to my interest in urban planning,” Blair said. I thought about the stacks of Blair’s books on maps on her desk in her room. She had compared them to my fascination with Pompeii. Yeah, I knew a lot of people were interested in Pompeii, but I doubted many could hear the voices of protest from the plaster mummies. It was almost as if they were frozen in time and wanted me to do something about it. My connection to those lost lives made me think I was destined to become an archeologist. I was hoping that career path might make the voices go away, except the only thing that solved that problem currently was more training with Mr. Parks.

We crossed Henry Bacon Drive and were surrounded by wide-open lawns that were unexpected for such a large and busy city. The Mall was the name of the park between the Lincoln Memorial and the United States Capitol, and it gave the monuments and museums surrounding them a green carpet of formality. Most of the buildings in Washington tended to have a sense of space and placement. Unlike New York, they went for depth instead of soaring height.

“I think that’s great that you are a logistics geek. I mean, I’m a computer geek,” Patrick confessed, as if this was a secret. I looked over at Reid, who had a quiet smile on his face as he listened to this revelation. Reid told me Patrick would spend hours writing code in his room instead of going out on weekends. That helped explain why Blair resorted to stakeouts of his house. Well, sort of explained it, I chuckled to myself, thinking not many girls were performing the elaborate night recognizance schemes Blair launched with her usual precision and preparedness. “Right now, I’m building a web of electronic data that will house all kinds of stuff. Sort of like an instant digital library that will connect computers all around the world,” Patrick said, a little too fast. He wasn’t boasting, but the words were spilling out of him as if they were held in captivity too long. Patrick fidgeted with his hat and then jammed both his hands into his pockets as if to try and contain himself. Being able to research anything just by typing it into a computer? It sounded more like a magical web than reality. I gave Blair a dubious glance — she didn’t like magic, fantasy or science fiction, and I wondered if she was going to shoot down Patrick’s digital dreams.

She pursed her lips and asked, “Does this have anything to do with that mention of a firewall back there?” Blair was sincerely interested, and Patrick appeared to skip in the air next to her. He quickly tried to pretend there was something he was trying to avoid on the sidewalk but it was not THAT dark out.  “I’m curious, because for thousands of years, people built fortified walls for defense. If you were really serious about protecting your investment, you added a moat or ditch or other obstacle, and where possible, build on high ground. Does this sort of design also happen in technology?” Graciously, Blair grounded Patrick’s explosion of excitement with a legitimate question that turned his world wide web of invisible data into something with historical relevance.

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Happy Holidays and Good Book Wishes For Young Adult Readers in 2015!

Know someone getting a Kindle under the tree this year? Gift them an exciting YA read that has 5 star reviews and is sure to be the right size!

#goodreads #amreading #YA #kindle

Snow and the Capitol Christmas tree. Photo by Kevin Ambrose.

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This Thanksgiving, We Are Thankful For Our Readers!

Hello readers and Happy (early) Thanksgiving!  We are done writing book three!  We are now in the final stages of editing and designing our cover.  We hope to release book three at the end of January 2015.  It took us longer than we expected but we think worth the wait. Book three contains some interesting topics.  Below are some puzzle pieces to get you guessing what is in store!

Lock Arkaig treasure

Maps, maps, maps!

http://www.ashleycowie.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/magnifying-glass-and-old-map-walp-long-goodbye.png

L’Enfant’s Tomb

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Happy Halloween YA Adventure Readers!

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We thought this picture of NASA’s jack-o’-lantern sun was pretty cool and that readers of The Light Bringer series would enjoy an early Halloween treat: A Book Three Update!

We are happy to announce that book three is finished and it has more answers and light-filled adventures for our characters!  We are editing the final draft and getting ready to hand it over to our editors. We are also working on concept cover designs on the book cover art and are excited to reveal that once it is finalized.  Stay tuned for the cover (and book name) release!

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Book Three Puzzle Pieces

As we are hard at work finishing up book three, we thought we’d share some images of what to expect in the latest adventure of The Light Bringer series. Thanks to our fans who are constantly reaching out to us.  As always, your support is helpful and motivational and we appreciate the feedback!

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Shawshank Success Continues

At the beginning of the year, we posted about one of our favorite movies, The Shawshank Redemption.  This recent article in The Wall Street Journal highlights the continued success and royalties that this box office sleeper continues to garner since its release almost 20 years ago.  Shawshank’s themes of hope, friendship and resilience are reasons many list it as a film that resonates with them again and again. We couldn’t agree more that this makes a compelling and successful story!

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The Will to Win

We’re now in the midst of the hunt for the Triple Crown and Secretariat has been on a lot lately.  The ending gets me choked up every time.  A racehorse and its owner, trainer, jockey and handler who all believed in him and his ability to win it all and go for it against the odds.

Secretariat won the Triple Crown in 1973.  Forty-one years later, his winning times in the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes AND his margin of victory at Belmont have never been approached. He is considered the best racehorse of all time.

I can’t think of many athletes who were considered the best in their field four decades ago. In the 1970’s, Mark Spitz was the best swimmer of his time but most people today would give that honor to Michael Phelps who has a streamlined swimsuit and sleeps in a pressurized chamber to help him achieve that status.  We live in an age where sports records are broken every day and athletes’ training programs benefit from the advances in technology so when a record stands unbroken for that length of time with nothing but muscle, sweat and the love of winning that speaks to me.

In Secretariat, John Malkovich’s character says it best when he shouts, “Don’t fall off, Ronnie!” Good advice when your hard work and dedication finally starts to pay off–don’t forget to hold on and enjoy the ride.

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What We Learned from 80’s TV Moms

If you’re a mother now and grew up in the 80’s then you can relate to this!  80’s television exposed America to some strong (and funny) TV mothers.  Gone were the days of June Cleaver and Marion Cunningham who tended to their home and family and that was all that they did.  Don’t get us wrong…that alone is a full-time job!  Enter the 80′s moms who were also architects, news journalists, attorneys and advertising execs.  We’re talking about Elise Keaton, Maggie Seaver, Claire Huxtable and Angela Bower.

These characters were society’s first exposure to women who were successful in their careers and who also had families to care for.  Sure, some of them had help (i.e., housekeeper.  Make that hot male housekeeper).  Some had husbands who worked from home (Cosby Show and Growing Pains).  Shouldn’t we all be so lucky to have doctors for husbands AND they all have home offices?!  Only in Hollywood!  But we do have Hollywood to thank for exposing popular culture to the fact that women can and should be able to be successful in both their professional and personal lives.

We loved watching these iconic moms of the 80’s because they were all great role models for busy moms who have to juggle making time for work and family.  The Light Bringer series is a labor of love for us and it’s there when we need the adrenaline rush we get from writing our characters and storyline.  In fact, the characters are like a second family to us. Best of all, since they reside only in our hearts and minds they do not whine, complain or need tucking in at night!

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Attention Authors! Need to Polish your Manuscript?

Are you in need of a sharp, fresh set of eyes to look over and help polish your manuscript?  Look no further than Sound Copy Editing.  Josephine Hao has helped us enhance both Sundial and The Light Bringer’s Way and she is currently helping us with book three in the series.  Her constructive feedback has helped us build better story lines for our characters (and readers) and we cannot recommend her enough!

To hire Joie as a copy editor or beta reader she can be reached at: jhsoundediting@gmail.com.

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Update on Book Three

Dear Readers,

We wanted to give you an update on the third book in response to many recent inquiries from enthusiastic readers.  This winter has set us back some (our kids have been out of school more than they’ve been in school, it seems!) but we are about 2/3 of the way done.  The first half of the book is with our beta reader/copy editor and we are working to try and get this done by the end of the school year.  We are as anxious as you all to get this out to our readers.  We really love how this material is shaping up and promise that it will be worth the wait!

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